What to Wear to a Job Interview: Men's Edition
A job interview is your time to shine and stand out. You want to make a lasting positive impression, to help secure a job offer. To show yourself in the best possible light, it’s important to dress well and wear an appropriate interview outfit. Knowing what to wear to an interview plays a critical role in creating a first impression, and indicates to your interviewer your level of professionalism and drive for the role that you’re applying for.
Do your research
Preparation is key. Learn as much as you can about the company, and try to figure out their dress code. A well-chosen outfit shows that you put effort into understanding the organisation’s culture, and that you’re ready to fit in. The quickest and most direct way to find out is to ask the recruiter or hiring manager what the most appropriate attire is. If that’s not possible, however, scour the company website and social media pages to find clues such as photos and videos of their employees. If you’re lucky, you might know someone who works there already, and you could simply ask them for their opinion on how you should dress.
The perfect fit
Work wear can be broken into four categories - business formal, business professional, business casual and casual. For an in-depth look at what each of these categories mean in terms of how to dress, check out our guide. Do your best to put together an outfit that aligns with the company culture, taking into consideration the industry and what’s considered standard for that industry. If you’re unsure, err on the side of over-dressing. For example, if you think the dress code is business casual but aren’t certain, dress business professional. If you under-dress, you risk offending the interviewer who may think you’re not taking them or the organisation seriously.
Though it’s important to pick an outfit that ‘fits’ with the culture of the organisation, it’s equally as important to wear clothes that fit. Ill-fitting and wrinkled clothes look sloppy and untidy, whilst a proper-fitting outfit allows you to look more mature and respectable. If you’ve decided to wear a suit but you don’t have an appropriate one, the best choice and a valuable investment to make (especially if you land the job) is a custom-tailored suit. Ready-made suits are built for the ‘standard’ person, but in reality all men have unique physiques and an off-the-rack suit will never make you look your most polished. A custom-made suit, on the other hand, will flatter your figure and make you look impeccable.
Keep it simple and classic
At the end of the day, what’s going to land you the job is your ability to sell your skills and accomplishments. You don’t want your interviewer to be distracted by an outlandish outfit. A crisp white or pastel dress shirt is sophisticated, like the Alistair Premium White Twill, and can easily vary in degrees of formality. Pair it with chinos for a smart casual look, with a grey or navy suit jacket and pants for semi-formal and with a tie for something even more formal. Avoid being too flashy by steering away from crazy colours, patterns or prints. This doesn’t mean you have to be boring, however. Inject some personality with subtle accessories or tie patterns, such as an elegant polka dot. If the organisation you’re interviewing for is more creative, you can have more license to play around with your outfit.
Ultimately, you want to walk into an interview calm, composed and confident. Preparing an outfit that won’t make you feel out of place will allow you to feel comfortable and in-control. Without concerning yourself over how others are judging your appearance (because you know you look good), you’ll be better able to deftly answer your interviewer’s questions, and nail that job interview.